Silver Surfers Damaging their Eyes!

 Silver Surfers damaging eyes due to smartphone addiction

Latest research reveals one in ten Brits are so obsessed with modern technology they look at their smartphone constantly and even take it to bed.  This is taking its toll on our eyes, as 41% of Brits suffer from headaches or blurred vision after regular computer and smartphone use.

The new research, by Clarivu permanent lens replacement, has found that almost half (47%) of Brits aged over 60 use their hand held technology more now than five years ago, with 17% saying they use it twice as much now.

And a surprising 40% of over 60s look at the tiny screens of their Blackberry or iPhone up to 10 times a day.

Eye health professionals are concerned about the impact of our smartphone addiction, as 20% of UK adults admit they wished the text on their screens was bigger, and almost a quarter (23%) of Brits need glasses to read their screens clearly, with this figure jumping to 43% of over 60s.

However, the older and wiser generation are setting a good example with 69% having the recommended annual eye test, compared to just 51% of 30-44 year olds.  And this is despite 1.8 million people in the UK being classified as visually impaired.

The new research revealed the concerning technology habits of Brits aged 60 plus:

  • 6% look at their smart phone over 20 times a day
  • 4% even admit looking at their smartphone constantly and even taking it to bed with them
  • 29% suffer headaches or blurred vision after prolonged smart phone use
  • Yet only 56% would get their eyes checked immediately if they suffered vision problems
  • And one in ten (12%) of this age group do not get their eyes tested regularly because they think there are no problems
  • Almost a fifth (18%) wish the text was bigger on their phone screen
  • Almost half (47%) use small screen technology more than five years ago, and 17% admit they use it twice as much as five years ago

Optegra Medical Director, Mr Rob Morris, commented: “The convenience of modern technology means we can take our work and enjoy our social networking wherever we go.  But this technology culture is making increasing demands on our eyes, particularly in the ‘silver surfer’ group, where we are noticing eye strain which means they struggle to use their smartphones without glasses.

“We are putting more and more pressure on our eye sight, and as the nation’s workforce gets older, we are seeing increased eye strain and more people developing long and short sightedness with age. In this age group, 96% wear glasses some or all of the time, yet many do not wish to. The good news is there is help available.” 

Mr Morris concluded: “Laser surgery is often a good solution for younger patients, but for the over 50s, Clarivu is a painless and proven procedure where the natural lens of the eye is replaced permanently with a technically advanced artificial lens, giving clear vision for both reading and distance, and most importantly, freedom from wearing glasses or contact lenses.”

Top Tips for technology use

Mr Robert Morris, Medical Director for Optegra, offers the following advice for technology fans:

  • Try to increase the font size on your screen, so you are not straining eyes more than necessary
  • Sunlight on a screen may cause headaches and difficulty with vision, so should be avoided if possible
  • If you use an iPad, Tablet or small laptop, consider an additional larger monitor for use at home or in the office
  • Do not use smartphones for longer than 20 minutes without a break.  Try the 20-20-20 rule.  Every 20 minutes look away about 20 feet in front of you for 20 seconds.  This can help reduce eye strain.
  • Book regular eye check-ups – like your car’s MOT, an annual check up is vital – with your local optician or Optegra Eye Hospital
  • Get your eyes checked if you experience blurred vision or repeated headaches or you are struggling to see road signs when driving
  • Always wear your reading glasses if struggling with small screen technology

For those who do not want to wear glasses, look into alternatives such as Clarivu permanent lens replacement

  • Research conducted for Clarivu by Online Opinions, with 1,000 adults aged 16 – 60+ in April 2012
©  Clarivu   2012

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